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Back in the early 80's, boomboxes were king. You'd load up a cassette with your favorite jams, buy a ton of bulky, heavy D-cell batteries, and take the party to the park, or the beach, or wherever. Then Sony introduced the Walkman, and permanently changed how we listen to music on the go. The Berlin Boombox aims to bring back some of that old-school block-rocking, in the form of a DIY boombox made out of cardboard. It's quite literally a box that booms.
Assembling the Boombox is surprisingly easy. The multilingual instructions are accompanied by pictorial instructions several grades higher than the ones that came with your cheapo Swedish coffee table. Basically, assembling the Boombox amounts to connecting the speakers and battery to a small amplifier, and folding the whole thing up. The cardboard is pre-cut and scored for folding, and the whole thing goes together in about 15 minutes. Three AA batteries are included, and they fit into a clever compartment in the back.
Sound-wise, Boombox was quite a bit louder than we expected, and actually lived up to its name. The 3-inch full-range speakers emphasize the mids and highs, but there's actually a surprising amount of thump, considering the whole thing is made of corrugated cardboard. The metal volume knob turns smoothly, and clicks when the unit is turned off. Since it features a stereo-mini input, Boombox works with everything from iPhones to iPods, iPads, Macs,, and just about any other sound-emitting device you might have around.
The bottom line. It's not going to win any audiophile awards, but as a quirky, lightweight speaker for backyard BBQs and relaxing in the park, this box is a boom.
iPhone, iPod, or any device with a headphone jack.
Easy to assemble. Well-constructed (for cardboard). Surprisingly loud.
Well, it's a cardboard boom box. Doesn't hold your device securely.